Tag: Nomar Garciaparra

The Sky’s the Limit for Boston Red Sox Phenom Xander Bogaerts

One of the biggest things that came out of the 2013 World Series for the Boston Red Sox was the arrival of Xander Bogaerts.

With every at-bat and play in the field, Bogaerts showed all of the characteristics that people had been projecting for him during his minor league days.

The recently turned 21-year-old showed all of the maturity, natural instincts and ability that scouts had projected for him. The fact that he was able to do it on a stage as large as the playoffs and World Series only made it more spectacular.

More so than his hitting, his ability to work the count, know the strike zone and take walks really impressed. His patience spoke volumes about his readiness to play in the major leagues at such a young age. He didn’t seem overwhelmed by the moment at all.

In fact, he looked to be right at home. 

Bogaerts looks like something special—like something the Red Sox haven’t had since Nomar Garciaparra came to Boston in 1996.

Now the question is whether he can become the next Garciaparra: a homegrown superstar who burst onto the scene and injected life into the Red Sox lineup and fanbase.

Garciaparra got a taste of the majors in ’96 at the age of 22, collecting 87 at-bats and posting a .241 average with four home runs and 16 RBI.

Bogaerts managed to collect 19 hits in 78 at-bats in 2013 during the regular season and postseason. Most impressive were his deep at-bats; he worked the strike zone to the total of 11 walks and 22 strikeouts. 

When Garciaparra came back for his first full season, he was the best player on the Red Sox and one of the best in the league. He won the Rookie of the Year, a Silver Slugger award and an All-Star spot and also placed eighth in the ballot for MVP. It was an amazing year for the young shortstop who hit 30 home runs and knocked in 98.

It also made Nomar a household name throughout New England.

His rookie season sets the bar high for Bogaerts as he potentially enters his first full season in Boston. The minor league numbers show that Bogaerts just might be able to put up comparable numbers, even if he enters the 2014 season a full two years younger than Garciaparra was in 1997. Garciaparra hit .289 during his first stint in the minors, while Bogaerts hit .296 in almost twice as many at-bats. Bogaerts has also shown good power, hitting 54 homers with an OPS of .862.

Bogaerts is likely to go into camp next spring with an opportunity to win the third base or shortstop job. Much of his immediate future depends on whether veteran shortstop Stephen Drew returns to Boston next season or signs with another team.

Either way, the Red Sox are hoping that Xander becomes a household name next year in Boston, just like Nomar. 


Statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Where Does Jacoby Ellsbury Rate Among Leadoff Men in Boston Red Sox History?

Boston Red Sox fans are wondering what Bobby Valentine’s Opening Day lineup is going to look like, and while the skipper isn’t talking yet, there is speculation that Jacoby Ellsbury will vacate the leadoff spot. If he does, he’ll be a tough No. 1 man to top.

The Sox were a major disappointment in 2011, but Ellsbury—already a proven hitter and two-time stolen base champ—emerged as a superstar. The fleet center fielder batted .321 with 32 homers, 39 steals and 105 RBI, great numbers for anybody but outstanding for someone who spent 144 of his 158 games atop the batting order.

Throw in his Gold Glove, and it’s no wonder Ells was runner-up to Justin Verlander in the MVP voting. 

How does Ellsbury’s season rank among the best by a Red Sox hitter batting primarily leadoff? Let’s take a look.  

Begin Slideshow

Boston Red Sox: Adrian Gonzalez and Their 10 Most Important Trades Since 2000

A big market city, such as Boston, comes with big payrolls and even bigger expectations.

Year after year the front office, coaches and fans expect a certain level of excellence from their players. If they do not live up to their potential then it’s the general manager’s job to find someone who can.

It used to be that most players, especially stars, would start and finish their careers in the same uniform. However, since the introduction of free agency that is now rarely the case.

Players on small market clubs are often the subject of trade rumors as their contract nears free agency to ensure their current teams gets value in return for their inevitable departure.

Such was the case this offseason when the Padres shipped Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox in exchange for a collection of prospects.

Other times general managers have to address team needs in an attempt to build a roster that has a realistic shot at a World Series Championship. Theo Epstein went this route in what many baseball minds would consider the most controversial and talked about trade in Red Sox history.

In an effort to originally reverse the curse, and since to remain a top power in baseball, the Red Sox have made several significant and brash deals since the turn of the millennium.

Here is how all those deals stack up in a ranking of the ten most important trades the Boston Red Sox have made since 2000.

Begin Slideshow

Los Angeles Dodgers’ Deferred Contract Burdens Slowly Beginning to Fade Away

Over the last several years, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ management team of owner Frank McCourt and general manager Ned Colletti have utilized the deferred contract option as a tactic to bring in numerous big name players with highly valued contracts—without paying much up front.

Looking back at several of the players who were still part of the Dodgers payroll in 2010, and who will be receiving paychecks from McCourt into the future, there’s no doubt that many of the deals have failed miserably.

There’s no way of telling exactly what position Frank McCourt is in financially, and just to be competitive, the club may be forced to continue to back-load contracts and pay players deferred cash long after they leave Los Angeles.

Nevertheless, as the 2010 campaign came to an end, some relief began to appear. Six players who were on the team payroll this season, yet never suited up in Dodger Blue, have finally received their last paycheck from Los Angeles. Now, these funds can finally be utilized to fill in a number of gaps on the player roster.

Left-handed starting pitcher Ted Lilly was recently signed to a three-year, $33 million deal, and although the contract was back-loaded, surprisingly no deferred payments exist that will need to be made once the contract expires. This could be a positive sign for the Dodgers, as Colletti and McCourt finally may be realizing how costly several of these deals actually were.

Still, the offseason is young, and the verdict is out on McCourt and Colletti. It’s already been announced that the team payroll will be increased, but it’s unknown by how much. Yet it is possible that with all the right moves, the Dodgers may find themselves in a position to improve upon a very dreadful year.

The following slides show all nine players who weren’t part of the team in 2010 yet still received paychecks signed by McCourt. Several are finally cleared from the payroll, and while a few will continue to be paid into the future, there is a bit of relief in sight in terms of overall dollars. 

Begin Slideshow

MLB: The 10 Most Shocking Comeback Seasons Of The Past Decade

Every year there seems to be someone who comes back from certain retirement to once again establish themselves as a force in the baseball world.

This year is no different, and there are a number of players making surprise comebacks this season. Vernon Wells and Barry Zito come to mind immediately.

So I have decided to run down what I feel are the top ten comeback seasons of the past ten years.

Just to clarify, there is a difference between a breakout season and a comeback season. Aaron Hill last season is the perfect example of a breakout season, while Chris Carpenter was a prime example of a comeback season.

On with the list.

Begin Slideshow

Copyright © 1996-2010 Kuzul. All rights reserved.
iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress